Thursday, July 14, 2011



"Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Heavy quote there from dear, old FDR, but it brings clarity to a lot of the thoughts I've been having lately. I'm 27 years old, although my Hubs would tell you that I'm 30 years old. He would be wrong. He just likes to age me like that, when in truth, he is only 1 year younger than me, and yes Hubs, you will be 30 one day too. You can't escape it.

The ever-looming 30, summer and my new role as a Pre-School Worship Leader at my church has brought so many thoughts to mind. As I watch all the pre-schoolers singing about Jesus with huge grins on their face, I think about who I was as a child. I was very care-free, joyful and innocent. I laughed a lot, caused some trouble, but I was just a baby. My faith was the same as my childhood. Care-free, joyful and innocent. God came first. Well, I might have put myself first at times :) But he was always in my thoughts. I thanked him for everything - the moon, the stars, the sunshine, the grass, my cats (when they were alive :) ), etc.

As I grew up, my innocence along with my care-free and joyful nature slowly got chipped away. I hurt people and people hurt me. I experienced pain and caused pain. People stole pieces of me and I gave up pieces of myself out of shame from my sin. This caused separation between me and God. I didn't feel good enough for His love anymore, and I slowly lost bits of my joy and love because He IS my joy and love.

I also have been thinking a lot about the Apostle Paul and what he has to say about our pasts and sin.

"No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven." Phillippians 3:13 - 14

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 
Hebrews 12:1 - 3 

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, 

 “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
   and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
   and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.“Make level paths for your feet,”so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. 
Hebrews 12:4-13

Man, if only I knew then what I know now. We are human. We make mistakes, we burn bridges, we break hearts, we have our hearts broken, we lie, we cheat, we sin...Somewhere in life, I let all that "stuff" put limits on my life. "I can't be this or that because I did this," "I am this because of this or because he/she thinks I am this or that," I would tell myself. But we do not have to allow our past sins, failures, mistakes, etc., put limits on us or define who we are. God's love and truth defines me.

And, I am still that cheerful and joyful little girl. I have lived a little bit more than she, but I have also learned a lot more. Life is limitless. The only limits in this life are the ones I set on myself. "Forgetting [and forgiving] the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling [me] up to heaven. I am not lame or disabled by my past, but rather healed.

Thank you Jesus for the sunshine, for the flowers, for my Hubs, for my family and in-loves, for my friends, and for your grace, love and forgiveness.

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